MANAGER Bob Stokoe holds out fresh hope for David Young, who is desperately keen to be in the Sunderland line-up for their FA Cup (Fifth Round), trial of strength with Manchester City at Maine Road on Saturday. “If David makes as much progress in the next 48 hours as he has done since Monday, then he must have a good chance of playing,” says Mr Stokoe.
The decision will come later, but it is significant that Young travelled with the team party which left Roker Park early this afternoon for a change of air and routine at Blackpool before going on to Maine Road.
Young is added to the 11 players who earned a 4-0 triumph over Middlesbrough on Saturday and the only other player in the party will be Bobby Park, who hopes to have the plaster on his broken leg removed on Tuesday and makes this trip to retain a sense of involvement in first team affairs.
“I’ll probably have one or two extra players joining us later in the week,” said Mr Stokoe “but this will be only to cover in case David does not make it. With the Reserves playing in York tonight I am not sure who they will be.”
Making the trip this afternoon were: Montgomery, Malone, Guthrie, Horswill, Watson, Pitt, Young, Kerr, Hughes, Halom, Porterfield, Tueart and Park.
Mr Stokoe has arranged for the players to continue their preparation for the big game at Stanley Park tomorrow and Friday.
The scene is set for an all-out attempt to clear this formidable Fifth Round obstacle. “We have nothing to lose and a lot to gain,” says Mr Stokoe. And weighing in their favour is the conviction that they will be going into the game in a better frame of mind than City.
But Mr Stokoe also looks beyond this game and expresses concern at the pressures which are coming to bear upon all his players from the congestion of fixtures at first, reserve and youth team levels.
“The top team already have five games to fit in and the position is just as bad for the other sides with the youth team adding an extra game by last night’s draw. We’ll have a weary bunch of lads on pur hands by the time we have worked through the next two month.”
Supporters are assured of a game to watch at Roker Park on Tuesday night. They will either see Sunderland in an all-ticket Cup replay with Manchester City or against Huddersfield Town in the Second Division game postponed from Boxing Day.
Story taken from the Sunderland Echo on February 21 1973.